However, it turns out you can still shed those pounds and eat meals like this from your favourite fast food restaurants, according to a top fitness expert.
Graeme Tomlinson, 31, aka The Fitness Chef, has claimed that these restaurants can easily fit in with a low-fat diet.
In fact, he points out having a little of what you fancy is said to be the key to sustainable weight loss and many dishes from places like Nando’s and McDonald’s contain under 500 calories.
However, the main thing he emphasises is that moderation is key.
The social media star says: “If consumption is moderate and accompanied by an overall supportive dietary process, it can have an enjoyed position in one’s life.”
Here he talks us through how fast-food restaurants can fit in with a weight loss programme.
With so much on offer, it can be peri hard to navigate the menu – but it turns out the Portuguese-style chain offers a whopping 45 dishes under 500 calories.
A quarter chicken breast is is only 278 calories, while lots of side dishes are also under 300 – meaning that you can easily build a high-protein, low-calorie meal.
In particular, Graeme suggests going for the butterfly chicken which is 352 calories or the chicken burger which has just 407 calories.
He says: “Nando’s is enjoyed by millions – this should never change.
“Awareness of total energy consumed can therefore allow one to facilitate multiple Nando’s excursions into a successful diet.”
McDonald’s and dieting are normally two words that don’t appear together.
But trying to keep your calorie count down doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up on the odd Maccy D’s.
In particular, the McDonald’s cheeseburger really isn’t as calorific as you’d think as it comes in at just 301 calories.
While Graeme points out food in McDonald’s isn’t “nutrient dense”, they can be enjoyed still as part of a diet.
Some of the dishes he points out are under 500 calories include six chicken nuggets, a filet-o-fish and a large fries.
It’s hard to go to BK and pass up on what they’re known for – their burgers – but you don’t have to.
As long as you make some smart decisions and are willing to pass on the supersize, you can still have a healthy fast food meal.
Top tips for eating out
The Hospital Group’s Dietitian George Hamlyn-Williams has revealed his top tips for eating out.
- “Opt for tomato-based sauces instead of those containing cream, cheese, or coconut milk.”
- “Ask for certain components of the meal to be prepared differently if possible – such as poached eggs instead of fried, or baked potato instead of chips on the side.”
- “Go ‘bun-less’ when ordering burgers and swap out chips for a side salad.”
- “Avoid absentmindedly adding dressings or condiments to meals.”
- “Opt for leaner sources of protein, like grilled chicken or white fish, instead of pan-fried steak which will be higher in calories and saturated fat.”
- “Avoid starters that contain lots of cheese or batter, and instead opt for a healthier vegetable-based dish.”
Graeme says: “If one enjoys Burger King and wants to achieve a compositional goal, awareness of information and coordinated action based on that information is a good idea to support that goal.”
The bacon double cheeseburger doesn’t scream “healthy” but it contain’s only 360 calories.
Similarly, a hamburger has 250 calories and a chicken burger has 390 calories.
While many people think KFC is off the cards during a diet, this isn’t the case.
Many of the dishes are low in calories, with a regular popcorn chicken containing just 135 calories.
A mini fillet burger contains 280 calories, while a two piece chicken original has 485 calories.
Graeme says: “Instead of demonising KFC, isn’t it a better idea to look more objectively?
“At least in terms of the most basic nutritional element of any food – the calorie value.
“Perhaps that way you’ll see that KFC can fit into your fitness goal if you enjoy it.”
Whether you’re a dedicated noodle slurper or a katsu fan – there’s something healthy on the menu at Wagas for everyone.
Many of the dishes are made from items like nuts, veggies, lean proteins and broth meaning a lot of the meals are full of nutrition.
Some of the lower calorie dishes Graeme recommends you pick if you want to lose weight include the duck wraps at 441 calories and the tofu glass noodle salad at 437 calories.
Graeme says: “Being aware of basic energy values can allow one to make informed choices in relation to their goal whilst still enjoying a social/business occasion with friends and colleagues in a restaurant environment.”
You can still celebrate the end of the week by going down to TGI’s but you may want to swerve the milkshakes and elaborate-looking puds.
In particular, Graeme points out that the red sparkler cake is a whopping 1690 calories, while the brownie obsession dessert is 1200 calories.
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However, one lower calorie dessert you could pick would be the Oreo madness which is 500 calories.
As for mains, TGI’s burgers are particularly unhealthy with the mac & cheese burger totalling 1390 calories, and the signature whiskey glazed burger coming in at 1100 calories.
However, you can still treat yourself to a burger and keep in your plan if you pick the 520 calorie turkey burger.
McDonald’s is ditching SEVEN items from its menu – including its Signature burgers and spicy nuggets
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